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The US housing market appears to be finally cooling off after seeing its least affordable days since the '80s.

The number of homes being built and sold is declining, more and more buyers are backing out of deals, and some parts of the country are finally seeing price cuts.

Pantheon Macroeconomics founder and chief economist, Ian Shepherdson, has called for a 15 to 20 per cent correction in an 'overvalued' housing market, which he warns is in a state of 'meltdown' with 'cratering demand.

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In a July 26 note, he declared we're no longer in a sellers' market and, 'the housing slump is deepening, fast... [this] will not be the bottom.’

While the housing market appears to be reaching a more stable state, the ups and downs of the real estate rollercoaster have left many home owners and prospective buyers in a state of doubt and upheaval.

So, DailyMail.com spoke to a panel of housing market experts about what's going on in the market and where, why, and when to buy or sell your home. 

The panel of pros features experts from across multiple real estate and financial fields: Troy Gayeski, Chief Market Strategist at broker dealer SF Investments; Ben Emons, Managing Director of Global Macro Strategy at economic advisory company Medley Global Advisors; David Kotok, CIO and founder at investment management firm Cumberland Advisors; Subadra Rajappa, head of US rates strategy at multinational investment bank and financial services company Societe General; and Nicole Bachaud, an economist at real estate company Zillow. 

Unlike Shepherdson, these experts insist the US is still in a sellers' market; however, we're no longer in homebuyer-beware mode. 

Now, it's about buyers being patient because if you wait long enough, 'prices will come to you.' That is, if you can afford to wait. 

Here, our experts reveal their top tips for prospective buyer and sellers for how to get the most out of your properties. 

Housing starts, or new homes that began construction in a given month, have been falling since April, indicating that demand for new homes is down

The number of available listings in the housing market rose for a fourth-straight month in June. This trend is a departure from the days of pandemic when there was a shortage of homes for sale. Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics founder and chief economist, cites rising inventories as an indicator of 'cratering' demand in the US housing market

New home mortgage applications turned positive after a four-week losing streak. It's a sign that there's still demand in the housing market 

Existing home sales, or the number of homes purchased in the US that were previously owned or occupied, fell for a fifth-straight month in June to 5.12 million (seasonally adjusted)

WANT TO SELL? 

DO IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER 

All experts who spoke with DailyMail.com advocated for selling sooner rather than later, so you can get in while the gettin's good. 

Troy Gayeski, Chief Market Strategist at SF Investments says a 10 to 20 per cent drop in home prices over next twelve months is a 'rational expectation.'

What home buyers and sellers need to know: How the Fed influences mortgage rates

The Fed does not set mortgage rates.

When you hear about the Fed ‘raising rates,’ that means they’ve raised their target range for the federal funds rate.

In July, the Fed lifted its target by .75 per cent to 2.25-2.5 per cent. It was the fourth in a series of hikes that began in March.

Changes to the fed funds rate impact borrowing costs across the economy, particularly in the housing market.

When the Fed raises its target rate, mortgage rates typically follow.

Mortgage lenders determine borrowing costs based on expectations for inflation and interest rates.

Both of those are up right now, so we've seen mortgage rates rise too.

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.3 per cent in the first full week of 2022, per the Mortgage Bankers Association. By May, it was up to 5.36 per cent.

Expect it to keep going up as the Fed keeps hiking.

So, rationally, you'd want to sell before that happens. 

Nationally, home prices keep hitting record-high after record-high.

To put it into perspective, if the average American bought a 'typical' home in June, it would have cost around $304,000, which is $60,000 more than if you bought the home a year ago. 

A monthly mortgage payment on that home, assuming a 30-year fixed rate, would be around $1,313, is up $600 from last June, according to Zillow data. 

But what goes up must come down. 

As the Fed keeps hiking rates, home prices are going to fall. It's just a matter when and by how much. That's what's up for debate. 

Ben Emons, Managing Director of Global Macro Strategy at Medley Global Advisors, doesn't think you'll see a meaningful drop in prices until at least next year.

‘If sellers become desperate, it’ll become a buyers market, but we’re not there yet... The market's still hot,' says Emons.

UNDERSTAND THAT DEMAND IS STARTING TO DWINDLE 

For Americans looking to sell their homes, Cumberland Advisors CIO and founder David Kotok, said, 'You’re about three or four months too late... The days of bidding wars are done.’  

Essentially Kotok warns that, if you sell now, you're probably not going to get as many offers as you would have earlier this year or last year.

That's because the Fed has already hiked rates four times since March and has more plans to raise them again in the near future.

When interest rates go up, or when people expect them to go up, some would-be home buyers reconsider their decision to purchase a home.

Add to that record high home prices; 40-year-high inflation; recession fears; and bidding-war fatigue to the mix, and even more would-be buyers are expected to very quickly dip out of the market.

So the longer you wait to sell, the fewer offers you are likely to get, because it is clear that demand is quickly dissipating.

Societe Generale's head of US rates strategy, Subadra Rajappa, told DailyMail.com, 'Recent data shows the housing market is starting to feel the impact of higher interest... 

'Higher mortgage rates are likely to deter would be buyers especially as home prices remain relatively high.'

30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged about five per cent as of August 4, marking its second week in decline despite rate hikes from the Fed

Monthly payments on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are more than 60 per cent higher than they were this time last year

Housing affordability challenges will, 'further the divide between existing homeowners and those who want to become homeowners,' says Zillow economist Nicole Bachaud

DESPITE DROPPING DEMAND, YOUR HOME IS STILL A GOLD MINE  

‘If you’re a seller, I mean quite frankly, you should be ecstatic,’ says Troy Gayeski. ‘Even if you sell your house is 20 per cent below where is was six weeks ago, who cares? It’s probably 60 to 80 per cent more than it was three years ago.’

The sellers' market was hotter than ever during the pandemic. Record-low mortgage rates, a shortage of homes, and more work-from-lifestyles drove crazy competition. Bidding wars broke out, and more than half of all listings sold above their asking price. 

Gayeski says the run up on housing prices started way before the pandemic. It’s at least 15 years in the makes because of, 'easy money policy and fiscal stimulus.'

For, since December 2008, the fed funds rate has not exceeded 2.5 per cent, about where we're at now.

Relatively speaking, 2.5 per cent isn’t that much if you consider it was around 20 per cent in 1981.

Think about paying double-digit interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. So yes, things right now could be much worse right now.

Anemically low rates is and should not be standard. Right now, we are transitioning out of a too-low for too-long phase and getting back to ‘normal,’ says Gayeski.

‘This is a hangover from an exceptional period of stimulus and massive gains, far greater than anyone ever expected.'

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: WHY IT'S ESSENTIAL TO LOOK AT THE DYNAMICS OF YOUR LOCAL HOUSING MARKET 

A national trend towards lower home prices is 'already underway,' according to Kotok. But whether or not you're in a buyers' or sellers' market, he says, 'depends on geographic location.'

According to real estate brokerage firm, Redfin, popular migration destinations where home prices boomed during the pandemic are most likely to feel the effects of a housing downturn.

Redfin predicts Riverside, CA will see the highest chance of seeing its housing market cool further if the US enters a recession. Number-two on their list is Boise, ID, followed by Cape Coral, FL; North Port, FL; Las Vegas; Sacramento, CA; Bakersfield, CA; Phoenix; Tampa, FL; and Tucson, AZ. 

A recent report from Zillow showed competition in red-hot markets like, San Jose; San Francisco; Seattle; and San Diego — all among the five most expensive metros.

Salt Lake City (24.1 per cent), Sacramento (21.7 per cent) and Phoenix (20.4 per cent) are seeing the highest shares of price cuts.

Nationally, home-price appreciation slowed for the third consecutive month in June.  Zillow attributes 'affordability obstacles' as the likely reason behind this. 

Annual home value growth was 19.8 per cent in June, which is down from a record high of 21 per cent in April, but it's still exponentially higher than June of 2019 when there was 4.6 per cent year-over-year growth. 

Looking at the country as a whole, the housing market's not so buyer-friendly, but if you know where to look, you can find a deal.

Home values depreciated slightly from May to June in San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego, and Austin. The typical U.S. home value is about $354,165, according to the Zillow Home Value Index

A lack of affordable options is driving down home sales in the US. The fastest drops in newly pending sales from May to June happened in San Jose (-24.3 per cent), Seattle (-23.9 per cent) and Salt Lake City (-20.8 per cent)

The largest share of home sellers in the US live in the South (39 per cent), followed by the Midwest (23 per cent) and West (22 per cent). The smallest share lives in the Northeast (15 per cent). The South has historically more home construction and inventory than other regions

WANT TO BUY? 

BE PATIENT AND DON'T JUMP THE GUN 

For buyers, the market’s ‘bifurcated’ between the haves and have nots, says Kotok.

For those who have money, rising rates are great. They typically make mortgages more expensive. That in turn decreases demand.

So if you’re a buyer and you know that rates are rising, you might consider holding off on purchasing a home because you know prices will go down.

As Gayeski explains it, 'Mortgage rates have gone up a lot. Affordability has collapsed. But if that means that home prices are going to come down or stop going up at a ridiculous pace for the next three to five years, that's actually really good news for buyers, right?... Buyers actually have a seat at the table again.'

IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO WAIT, LOCK IN A FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE WHILE YOU STILL CAN 

However, if you're one of the many who can't keep up with higher mortgage payments or a a more expensive down payment down the road, buying later is less logical.

In those peoples' cases Emons advises that it'd be better to lock-in at a fixed-rate mortgage now because the economy's, 'not unhealthy,' at the moment, and that way you won't get boxed out of the market if mortgage rates get too high for your budget to handle.

This is a likely scenario for the 40 per cent of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck and the nearly six million people who are currently unemployed.

Nicole Bachaud, an economist at Zillow, says we're in an 'affordability crisis.' Her data shows that American would need to spend 30 per cent of their monthly income in order afford mortgage payments.

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS SHOULD EXPECT A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD 

Affordability challenges will hit first-time homebuyers particularly hard, Kotok warns.

He points out that first-time buyers are generally younger and have less accumulated wealth than older generations.

This will impact their ability to pay for higher down payments and mortgage payments later on - if they can get a mortgage at all. Income qualifications are going up, and that means more and more people will be unable to get loans. 

Bachaud says affordability challenges will, 'further the divide between existing homeowners and those who want to become homeowners.'

Annual home value appreciation fell for the third consecutive month in June 

The largest share of home sellers in the US housing market make $100,000+ per year

First-time homebuyers are being hit particularly hard by today's affordability crisis.Most are millennials, and they're getting priced out by older generations

NOBODY IS 'WINNING' THE HOUSING MARKET... BUT YOU CAN STILL MAKE THE MOST OUT OF A HOME PURCHASE IF YOU HAVE MONEY TO FALL BACK ON

When it comes to homebuyers vs. home sellers, the panel of experts agreed that no one's particularly 'winning' the market right now.

Emons sees everyone as being in a 'precarious position' right now, whether you're rich or poor. But of course, being rich always helps.

Gayeski says, 'You know how the system's geared. The wealthy always tend to do better, and that's just a fact of life.... but it's actually particularly acute right now.' 

Regardless of tax bracket, when it comes to deciding when to buy or sell a home, Bachaud says, 'timing the market is not really advisable,' especially if you need a place sooner rather than later because your family needs are changing.  

'There are so many reasons to buy a house that have nothing to do with timing the market. Don't discount any of those reasons just because you're seeing a lot of headlines and hearing a lot of mortgage rates this and that. I think that should really be more of a precedent than timing the market,' she argued. 

So, it looks like the real winners here are people who can afford to wait because they don't need a home right now, and they're comfortable excepting a higher mortgage payment down the road. 

As Bachaud puts it, 'Buyers have a little bit more power in today's market than they did. However, that's for buyers who are able to afford to be in the market itself. And so I think that's a big kind of sticking point, is, you know, buyers who can afford to stay in the market are definitely, you know, more winners than anybody else right now.'

News Source: dailymail.co.uk

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Five unsolved mysteries of chilling Manson Family murders – from ‘extreme overkill’ deaths to Satanic cult theory

IN 1969, Hollywood was stunned to discover that one of its most promising stars, Sharon Tate, had been brutally murdered while nearly nine months pregnant.

The 26-year-old had been horrifically stabbed 16 times in her own home during the Manson Family's infamous Los Angeles killing spree on August 8, which left four others dead.

11Charles Manson led the Manson Family, who went on a killing spreeCredit: AP:Associated Press 11The cult killed actress Sharon Tate who was nine months pregnantCredit: Getty - Contributor

The vile cult - led by the psychopathic Charles Manson - went on to kill married couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca just a day after Sharon's death.

They were also behind the deaths of Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe and Gary Allen Hinman, who they had failed to convince to join the cult.

While these are the evil gang's nine known killings, they have been further linked to numerous unsolved murders over the decades.

Here, we delve into some of the most remaining riddles and rumours surrounding the Manson Family.

READ MORE FEATURES LAVA LOVERS Inside life of volcano chasers who dipped FEET in lava & predicted own deathsDAD'S FIGHT I hired kidnapper to snare daughter's killer - but some felt I was the villain Were there more murder victims? 11Doreen Gaul is said to have been a victim of the Manson Family 11Reet Jurvetson was found with multiple stab woundsCredit: Anne Jervetsen

In addition to their callous killing spree, the Manson Family has been linked to a string of cold cases - including the chilling murders of Doreen Gaul, 19, and James Sharp, 15.

The pair's bodies were discovered on November 21, 1969, after being dumped in an alley behind a house in LA - Doreen's corpse was naked while James was fully clothed.

LAPD officers noted they had been savagely stabbed more than 50 times - just like the Family's victims - and their bodies were found close to where the Tate-LaBianca murders occurred just months earlier.

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The two victims were members of a Scientology offshoot group called the Process of the Final Judgement, which Manson had been linked to.

Cult member Bruce Davis was rumoured to be Doreen's ex boyfriend, but denied knowing her in a police interview.

A man confessed to killing the pair in a robbery years later, but was never charged before he died.

Months before Doreen and James's murders, an unidentified woman's body was discovered by a birdwatcher near Mullholland Drive with 157 stab wounds.

It was only 46 years later in 2016 where she was identified as Reet Jurvetson, after her mortuary sketch was recognised by family friends.

Once again, the 'overkill' tactic of stabbing the victim multiple times was eerily consistent with methods used by the Manson Family.

Manson was jailed over the Tate and LaBianca murders in 1971, and detectives later quizzed him about Reet's death, but found him uncooperative and prone to playing mind games.

The cult leader was also rumoured to be behind the death of his apparent uncle, Darwin Scott.

Rumours surround Manson's murky family history and he never knew his biological father, believed to be Colonel Walker Henderson Scott Sr, a labourer who took off after finding out his mum, Kathleen, was pregnant.

Colonel Walker's brother, Darwin, was found hacked to death in his apartment on May 27, 1969.

11Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were tried for their roles in the Manson Family murdersCredit: AP:Associated Press

In 1971 - two years after Tate's murder - Ronald Hughes, a lawyer for cult member Leslie Van Houten mysteriously vanished without a trace.

When his badly decomposed body was eventually found in Ventura County, Family member Sandra Good claimed he had been killed after "offending" Manson during the trial.

What was truth behind 'Satanic network' theory? 11Manson was said to be part of a Satanic group of killersCredit: Reuters

Nearly a decade after the Manson Family murders, serial killer David Berkowitz slaughtered six men and women in New York.

The killings between 1976 and 1977 were dubbed the Son of Sam murders, and were investigated for decades by reporter Maury Terry.

As revealed in the Netflix documentary The Sons of Sam, the journalist became obsessed by his belief that the Berkowitz did not act alone and was part of a sinister satanic network with links to Manson.

According to the theory, the network was based in California, Texas and New York and had been responsible for a number of murders that had ritualistic elements.

Some believed they even worked for drug lords and other powerful establishment figures.

Terry's efforts to stand up the theory, which were never fully substantiated, ultimately led to a warped quest which haunted him until his death in 2015 at the age of 69.

Did Beach Boy witness execution? 11Dennis Wilson developed a close friendship with the Manson FamilyCredit: Getty

Beach Boys star Dennis Wilson had a close but brief relationship with members of the Manson Family in 1968.

He hosted members of the Family - mostly women who were seen as servants - in his own residence in Sunset Boulevard.

Dennis spent $100,000 of his own money on the Family, funding expenses such as clothes, food, cars and a persistent gonorrhoea issue affecting members of the Family

He is said to have been fascinated by the cult and named their leader "the wizard".

11Dennis spent $100,000 of his money on the Manson FamilyCredit: Getty

Dennis even recorded a song written by Manson for the Beach Boys called Never Learn Not to Love, but angered the leader by failing to credit him.

His cars were subsequently destroyed by the Family, while he was forced to move out of his home out of fear.

But in the darkest story about Dennis's relationship with the cult, fellow Beach Boy Mike Wilson claimed the star had even witnessed a Manson murder.

In his 2016 memoir, Good Vibrations, Mike said Dennis had told him that he saw the killer shoot a man dead with an M-16 rifle and stuff his body down a well.

If true, it would be the first case in which Manson was accused of personally carrying out a murder, rather than conspiring to kill through his followers.

Was Manson trying to spark race war?

To this day, it remains unclear why the Family set out on their bloodthirsty spree.

But one of the most enduring theories is that Manson wanted to spark a nationwide 'war' to push his racist agenda.

The cult reportedly believed that tensions between black and white Americans had reached fever pitch - and that a clash was inevitable.

Manson is said to have convinced his followers that the protests following Martin Luther King's death were the beginning of an 'uprising' within the black population.

He interpreted songs by the Beatles - including their hit Helter Skelter - and passages from the Bible as signs of an incoming 'race apocalypse'.

Did Doris Day save son from killers? 11Doris Day may have saved her only child from the Manson FamilyCredit: Rex 11Terry Melcher drew the ire of the Manson FamilyCredit: Getty

Charles Manson believed he was destined to be a a popstar and famously had a passion for music.

This led him to befriend Terry Melcher, a music producer and son of screen legend Doris Day.

Terry listened to some of Manson's songs, but was not impressed.

"Once he got to [Manson’s place], he just wanted to get the hell out of there," Bill Cassara, a former police officer who knew Terry, told Fox News.

"It was filthy and very obvious that there was no talent. He described hearing Manson’s girls singing while he played the guitar. He felt he had to get out. So he tried to make a graceful exit."

Seven months later, Manson's cult murdered Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojtek Frykowski and Steven Parent at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles - the very home Terry had just moved out of.

It is said that after hearing of the group's increasingly dark practices, Doris advised her son to leave his home and move in with her out of fear for what the Family could do to him.

At the time, it was theorised that Terry was the intended target, but police later established that Manson knew he had moved out of the home.

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Nonetheless, until his death in 2004 at the age of 62, the producer lived in fear of being the cult's next hit.

"No one would ever talk about the Manson murders in front of Terry," said Cassara. "Terry was a very paranoid person. He did not like to be around crowds. He certainly didn’t like being recognized."

11Rosemary LaBianca and her husband were was gruesomely murdered by the Manson FamilyCredit: Handout

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